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Democratic senator Ben Cardin said this morning that he has serious "questions" about Chuck Hagel, who today will be nominated to be the next secretary of defense:
Here's the transcript:
HOST: “First question to you, Senator, what do you think about the Chuck Hagel pick from the president?” SEN. BEN CARDIN: “Well, I think it will be controversial. I hope most senators will take their responsibility to advise and consent and let the process move forward. Let's go through the hearings. There are some statements that Senator Hagel has made that he needs to clarify. And we’ll see how the confirmation process proceeds if he’s nominated. But it will be controversial.” HOST: “Do you think he’ll make it through, though, senator?” SEN CARDIN: “You know, I am not – the answer is yes, I think he probably will. It's not a foregone conclusion. The Republicans right now seemed to be well organized in opposition. There are Democrats including this senator who have questions that have to be answered before I can support him. The process is going to have to go forward if the president nominates him. That's what the confirmation hearings should be about. It should be about putting on the record some of the statements he's made, how he feels about Iran and sanctions, how he feels about U.S. policies towards Israel and the Middle East. I think all of those issues need to be on the record so the American people can hear Senator Hagel defend some of the charges that have been made. But quite frankly, I don't think we should pre-judge this.”